MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 23:19:04
Dec 2, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,547
Arsenal
1-3
Man UtdManchester United
Lacazette (49')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Valencia (4'), Lingard (11', 63')
Pogba (74')

Result: Ten-man Manchester United beat Arsenal in thriller at Emirates

Manchester United close the gap on leaders Manchester City to five points courtesy of a 3-1 win over Arsenal in a pulsating clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Manchester United have closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to five points courtesy of a 3-1 win over Arsenal in a frantic and thrilling contest at the Emirates Stadium this evening.

Jose Mourinho has often been criticised for his negative tactics away to top-six rivals, but his side capitalised on defensive errors to race into a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes in North London.

Arsenal had a proud 12-match winning streak to protect in front of their own fans and fought back, but despite creating a plethora of first-half chances they were forced to wait until the opening stages of the second half to pull a goal back through Alexandre Lacazette.

The Gunners continued to push for an equaliser in a pulsating clash but found David de Gea in inspired form, and Jesse Lingard ultimately took the game beyond the home side with his second of the match shortly after the hour mark.

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the second during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub

There was still time for Paul Pogba to be shown a straight red card for a challenge on Hector Bellerin as the match developed into an all-time classic between the Premier League's most iconic rivals, but Arsene Wenger's side could not make the most of their numerical advantage as they fell to a first home league defeat since January.

Arsenal surprisingly named Lacazette in their starting lineup after the striker was forced off at half time of the midweek win over Huddersfield Town, but it was their defence which was under the spotlight in the opening stages as United raced into an early lead.

The deadlock was broken after just four minutes when Laurent Koscielny's loose pass across defence was picked off by Valencia, who went on to exchange passes with Pogba before drilling a low strike between the legs of Petr Cech.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates Antonio Valencia's opener during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© Offside

United raced into a quickfire 3-0 lead during their midweek win over Watford, and they looked to be in similarly clinical fashion this evening when they doubled their advantage after just 11 minutes, once again punishing a defensive mistake from the Gunners.

This time it was Shkodran Mustafi who was the guilty party, losing possession to Lingard in his own half before Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial combined to set up Lingard for the second goal as he stroked his finish past Cech when one on one.

Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal when Mustafi was forced off with an injury sustained in the buildup to the second goal, but Arsenal responded well to Lingard's strike and would have gone into half time wondering quite how they had not reduced the deficit.

The first big chance for the home side fell the way of Lacazette, who got his toe to the ball from point-blank range but was denied by the legs of an unwitting De Gea before the ball trickled agonisingly wide.

It was end-to-end football from that point on as the first half developed into a classic Premier League contest between the two old rivals, but the main chances continued to fall the way of Arsenal and Ashley Young needed to clear a Mesut Ozil free kick off the line to keep his side's two-goal cushion intact.

United's goal was leading a charmed life, though, and never was that more evident than when Lacazette's deflected effort bounced against the crossbar before Granit Xhaka clipped the outside of the post when the ball fell to him seconds later.

David de Gea makes another crucial save during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub

The visitors immediately went down the other end and almost added a third when Sead Kolasinac turned Pogba's cross towards his own goal, forcing Cech into a smart save down low to his right.

Arsenal were soon back on the front foot, though, and drew another stop from De Gea through Ozil with nine minutes remaining of the half before Nemanja Matic produced a stunning block to deny Aaron Ramsey a gilt-edged chance.

United continued to hang on while looking dangerous on the break themselves, with De Gea by far the busier of the two keepers as he made another two stops to deny Bellerin and Kolasinac in quick succession.

The Spaniard saved his best first-half save for last, though, as he clawed the ball away just before it could creep over the line after Lukaku had inadvertently turned it towards his own goal.

United survived yet another goalmouth scramble to go into the break still with their two-goal advantage, although Arsenal picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and finally pulled a goal back within four minutes of the restart.

The United defence were statuesque as Ramsey beat the offside trap to latch on to Alexis Sanchez's forward pass, knocking the ball back to Lacazette from close range. Lacazette had all the time in the world as United continued to appeal for an offside flag that wasn't coming, with the striker lashing his finish beyond De Gea.

Alexandre Lacazette pulls one back during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© Offside

Any suggestions that the second half would be a more placid affair than the first were quickly dispelled when the visitors hit the post just two minutes later as Lingard found himself clean through on goal only to see Cech stick out an arm and send his shot looping against the upright.

The ball then dropped to Martial from point-blank range, but his follow-up effort was snuffed out by Nacho Monreal as Arsenal benefitted from the same apparent charm on the goal which had kept them at bay in the first half.

Alex Iwobi was the next to test De Gea with a fierce drive that stung his palms and a tame header which was more routine for the Spaniard, but United needed the keeper at his world-class best to keep them ahead in the 56th minute.

Lacazette was the first to be denied by a stunning reaction save to keep out his powerful low strike from inside the box, and De Gea then recovered in time to thwart Sanchez on the follow-up with a goal-saving challenge.

De Gea's heroics proved even more important when United restored their two-goal advantage against the run of play just seven minutes later, with Lingard doubling his personal tally from close range.

Jesse Lingard scores his second of the afternoon during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub

It came via another quick United break as Pogba skipped past Koscielny all too easily before playing the ball across goal for an unmarked Lingard, who could not miss in front of an open net.

Still Arsenal poured forward and De Gea was called into action again to deny Sanchez just two minutes later before the hosts were handed a sizeable lifeline when Pogba was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Bellerin.

Paul Pogba is sent off for his mistreatment of Hector Bellerin during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub

The Frenchman will now miss the Manchester derby through suspension, but United coped with the numerical disadvantage well during the final 15 minutes and De Gea's only remaining saves - to keep out a deflected Iwobi shot and a Monreal header - were among his easiest of a busy night.

Arsenal were denied a late penalty when Danny Welbeck was brought down in the area against his former club, further helping United to get over the line and record a fourth consecutive Premier League victory - including back-to-back league wins on the road for the first time since April.

The victory is also Mourinho's first away to top-six opposition in his last 12 attempts and United's first at the Emirates since November 2014, setting the Red Devils up nicely for next weekend's showdown with local rivals and league leaders Manchester City.

Arsenal, meanwhile, remain fifth in the table after Liverpool's win over Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in the day having seen their 12-match home league winning streak come to an end, dropping points at the Emirates for the first time this season.

Arsenal (3-4-3): Cech; Koscielny, Mustafi (Iwobi, 15'), Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka (Welbeck, 70'), Kolasinac (Giroud, 76'); Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette

Manchester United (3-4-3): De Gea; Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo; Valencia, Matic, Pogba, Young (Rashford, 93'); Lingard (Darmian, 76'), Martial (Herrera, 67'); Lukaku

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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil pictured together on November 27, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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